Limitation of Liability Hearings



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the petition of the Oceanic Steam
Navigation Company, Ltd. for limitation
of its liability as owner of
the Steamship Titanic.

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The claim of Mabel N. Porter, widow of Walter C. Porter, deceased, for herself individually and for the benefit of the next of kin of the deceased, and Charles A. Hamilton, administrator de bonis non of said deceased, all of the City of Worcester, Mass., alleges as follows:

I. That Mabel N. Porter is the widow of Walter C. Porter, deceased, and resides at 10 Lenox Street in the City of Worcester , Mass. That the claimant Charles A. Hamilton is the administrator de bonis non of the goods of said Walter C. Porter, deceased, and resides at 35 Truit Street in the City of Worcester, Mass.

II. That heretofore and on or about the 31st day of January A. D., 1913 Letters of Administration de bonis non were duly issued to the said Charles A. Hamilton out of the Probate Court, for the County of Worcester, Commonwealth of Massachusetts upon the goods, chattels and credits of Walter C. Porter, deceased.

III. That said deceased lost his life upon the sinking of the petitioner's steamship Titanic on the high seas on or about April 15th, 1912, and was the husband of Mabel N. Porter, one of the claimants herein, and was a passenger

for hire on the said steamship Titanic and had embarked thereon as such passenger at the Port of Southampton, England, on or about April 10th, 1912, under a contract for a valuable consideration made with the petitioner herein for the safe transportation of his person and personal effects between the said Port of Southampton and the Port of New York, in the City of New York, United States of America.

That deceased left him surviving:

Mabel N. Porter - his widow (claimant herein)  
Helen P. Porter - daughter both over 21 years of age.
O. Stanley Porter - son

for whose joint benefit this claim is made.

III. [sic] That while on said voyage on the high seas as aforesaid the said steamship Titanic, through no fault of the claimants, or of said Walter C. Porter, deceased, but wholly by reason of the fault and negligence of the petitioner, its officers, agents, servants and employees, collided with an iceberg on or about April 14, 1912, at or about 11:40 P.M. ship's time, by reason of which collision said steamship Titanic sank and the claimant's intestate said Walter C. Porter lost his life and that the loss and damage to the claimants was by reason thereof, done, occasioned or incurred not without the knowledge or privity of the petitioner, herein.

IV. On information and belief that the above named petitioner is a corporation organized under the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and that the steamship Titanic was a British vessel and was owned by said petitioner, and said petitioner is and was at the times herein mentioned a common carrier of goods and passengers for hire and as a British vessel was subject to the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ire­land.

V. That by the law of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland a person, including a corporation, is liable in an action for damages if any one is killed by some wrongful act, neglect or default of such person, such as would have entitled the person injured, but for his death to have maintained an action and recovered damages against such person. Such an action is to be brought for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent or child of the deceased and the relatives or personal representatives of a foreigner killed by a collision caused by negligent navigation of a British ship on the high seas are entitled to bring an action in respect of his death. Such an action must be commenced within twelve calendar months of the death of the person injured and where there is an executor or administrator of the deceased such action must be brought in his name, but where he fails to bring the action within six months after death the right of action passes to any and all of the relatives entitled to benefit.

VI. That under and by the laws of the State of New York an action is maintainable to recover damages for a wrongful act, neglect or default by which the death of a person is caused, against a natural person who, or a corporation which would have been liable to an action in favor of the decedent by reason thereof if death had not ensued. Such an action must be commenced within two years after the decedent's death.

That on or about October 4,1912, the petitioner here­in filed the petition herein, by which it prayed that pursuant to the law of the United States, all persons having claims against the petitioner or against said steamship Titanic be enjoined from prosecuting any such suit at law but that such person or persons file his or their claim with the Commissioner to be appointed by this Honorable Court.

VII. That subsequent thereto and on or about October 4, 1912, this Court made an order in and by which all actions then pending were stayed and enjoined and the beginning or prosecution of any and all suits, action or legal proceedings of any nature or description whatever in respect of any claim arising out of the collision of said steamship and the iceberg and its subsequent sinking, were stayed and enjoined and all claimants were cited to appear herein and file their claims with Alexander Gilchrist, Esq., a Commissioner named in the said order of this court to receive such claim.

VIII. That by reason of the premises these claimants have, been damaged in and claim the sum of One Hundred and Fifty thousand dollars.

FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION , claimants repeat all the allegations contained in paragraphs Numbered I, II, III, IV and VII as though fully set forth at length and further allege as follows:

IX. That claimants intestate, the said Walter C. Porter, had baggage and personal property of the value of Sixteen Hundred and Seventy Dollars, as set forth in Schedule "A", hereto annexed. That said baggage and personal property was lost in the said collision by reason of the said negligence of the said petitioner, its officers, agents servants and employees and has never been delivered or returned to the claimants, or any one of them, who are authorized to receive it, or to any other person authorized to receive it and no credit has been received on account thereof.

WHEREFORE , claimants make and file this claim against the above named petitioner the sum of One Hundred Fifty-one Thousand six hundred seventy Dollars and pray that the Commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the said sum is due to these claimants and pray that this court will decide that they recover from the petitioner. herein their damages as aforesaid with interest, and costs, and as should be allowed to the out of any fund now or which may come into the registry of this court in this proceeding and for such other and further relief as to the Court may deem just in the premises.

Charles L. McDermott (sig.)
2 Rector Street,
Borough of Manhattan,
City of New York.




Mabel N. Porter (sig.) being duly sworn, says:

That she is one of the claimants in the above entitled matter and that she has read the foregoing petition and knows the contents thereof; that the same is true to own knowledge except as to the matters therein stated to be alleged upon information and belief and as to those matters she believes it to be true.

Sworn to before me this )

10th day of February, 1913. )

Mabel M. Porter
Charles A. Hamilton.
Admin. d.b.m.

Carl M. Blair (sig.)




I, THEODORE S. JOHNSON, Clerk of the Superior Court, which

is a Court of Record for the County and Commonwealth aforesaid, having by law a seal do hereby certify that Carl M. Blair Esquire, whose signature is affixed to the Certificate of Acknowledgment, Proof or Affidavit, on the instrument hereto annexed, was at the date thereof a Notary Public in and for said Commonwealth, residing in said County, duly commissioned and qualified, and authorized by the laws of said Commonwealth to take the acknowledgment and proof of deeds and other instruments in writing to be recorded in said Commonwealth, and administer oaths; that full faith and credit is and ought to be given to his acts and attestations done in that capacity; that I am well acquainted with his handwriting; that I verily believe his signature to said Certificate is genuine and that said affidavit purports to be taken in all respects as required by the laws of said Commonwealth.

Given under my hand and the seal of said Court, this tenth day of February in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirteen.

T. S. Johnson (sig.) Clerk